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On Thursday, August 15th, Workspring Central Loop was thrilled to host an exciting evening cocktail reception for Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) and their upcoming 2013 programming. As a premier sponsor of CIW, Workspring, along with the larger Steelcase and Turnstone family, had the opportunity to engage a select group of like-minded companies and press during the two-hour event, showcasing our inviting space and signature hospitality. The guests enjoyed a special summer menu including Angus beef sliders, melon and feta cubes with balsamic drizzle, a tropical crudites spread, and a refreshing bar.
Once guests had a chance to grab a bite, mix and mingle, CIW began their program, highlighting truly how far the organization has come in its three years running. CIW Founder Brad Keywell (also of Groupon and LightBank) delivered the keynote address with humble gratitude, touching on this year’s focus on elevating the innovative and inspirational ideas of our city to action. Following Brad, CIW’s Director of Development Leah Marshall thanked the crowd for coming together in the early stages, and also introduced Workspring Managing Director, Danielle Galmore. Danielle shared some exciting aspects of our sponsorship – including opening up our coworking space to members of the CIW community in October for drop-in access and 1:1 meetings. Jessica Malkin, CIW’s executive director, gave a sneak-peak at the one-of-a-kind speaker series, labs and tours that will be the cornerstones of their calendar.
Next up was Caralynn Nowinski, University of Illinois’ associate vice president for innovation and economic development, who talked about the revolutionary partnership among the City of Chicago, CIW, and University of Illinois on a program called “ThinkChicago,” which strives to keep bright and innovative minds where we need them the most after graduation – here in Chicago!
We cannot discuss the importance of encouraging and engaging the next generation without bringing up CIW YOU(th) Ambassador Gloria Rivas, who charmed the crowd with her stories of life lessons learned and looking forward to the future of college, thanks in great part to her involvement with the organization.
All in all, it was a wonderful night to be at Workspring. The delicious food and drinks and the interesting behind the scenes look at CIW’s organization and what’s to come this season had the guests on a high. As Brad Keywell emphasized, “The first year was about establishing and proving that [CIW] is real, that this has definition and this matters – that this could be a global product and it can have global meaning. The second year was about proving that we can grow what we started and have the same quality underneath a bigger scale. This year, to me, is about activation. It’s about taking what we started and making it mean something in a really substantial way.”
We look forward to continuing the conversation with CIW, its sponsors, partners, and guests for months to come. If you would like to engage with Workspring and CIW, join us at Workspring’s Central Loop location on October 15, 2013 from 7:30pm – 9:00pm as we host a CIW lab on insight-driven design. Tickets are $15 each. RSVP here.
Claire Faughnan is a Sales and Programs Coordinator at Workspring. She is passionate about drawing great people together in big ways.